Tuesday, May 17, 2005

God bless you! Here's a hanky

Yesterday, I had the good fortune to receive a special letter from God himself. How wonderful to be counted among the faithful, along with everyone else in Lafayette! So how do I know that these nice folks are specifically targeting good old Ian? Well, for one, their greeting speaks volumes:

Dear...Someone Connected with This House,

And who else but God would know that I live at my house? I'm sold.

The prayer group acting on God's divine mandate is St. Matthew's Church, which is (like everything else that is sane) based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Keen-eyed customers will notice that the mailer actually comes from the zipcode 52641, which is Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. They must have a church bus or something.

St. Matthew's is a non-prophet church established in 1951, a fact trumpeted over and over in the letter to lend gravitas (which should tell you something). New commandment: Thou shalt not lend credence to a church born the same year as Rush Limbaugh.

The thrust of the letter is that the parishioners of St. Matthew's have been on their collective knees, fellating God in order to bring glad tidings unto McGibboney Manor. The Holy Spirit's answer to their quandary was that I needed a flimsy paper snotrag:

Here, let me read what God's Holy Word says about these Bible handkerchiefs: "And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick H-A-N-D-K-E-R-C-H-I-E-F-S or aprons..." ACTS 19:11,12.

Thanks for the spelling lesson, folks. I value that quality in people who make the elementary-level "whose/who's" error right there on the envelope:

But I digress. The catch is that God can only do so much without that damn "cloth," so I have to lay it out in the closest Bible overnight to simmer, then write my name and related info on it and return it with the enclosed checklist. Seems like an innocuous process until you see just how startlingly an inscribed prayer cloth resembles an automobile title:

It's almost enough to question their real motivations. That is, of course, until you read over their checklist and you realize that there's no direct plea for money. That's right! Nowhere on any of the material does it ever ask you for money. Yes, it does have a glaringly long blank for a donation amount at the bottom of the checklist; but with the potential for blessings such as those excerpted below, who wouldn't fork over at least a small tithe?

Pray for my family and me for...
( ) A Closer Walk with Jesus
( ) To Be Saved.
( ) Our Family Member's Health
( ) Confusion In My Home
( ) A Money Blessing
( ) Pray for God to bless me with this amount of money: $_______

I don't know about you, but I'm going with confusion in my home. Only seems fair.

Just in case you aren't dying to sell your soul to the saved at this point, an additional insert (made of the same material as the "cloth") offers Stirring Testimonials to the power of positive thinking and anointed cloth:

My son was in jail...God made a way for my son to come back home with us.

Ah, the miracle of bail!

My son-in-law got off dope...

Religion is a cheaper opiate. Sometimes.

God touched my daughter's body. She had been off work nearly two years...

After that, she no doubt turned tricks with the best of them.

After reading these and equally gripping corruptions of cause-and-effect, I'm so pumped about this prayer-cloth thing! In fact, I wish I was sick like this guy right now! Then I would know that Jesus loves me:

Some final suggestions for those of you who wish to feel true spiritual satisfaction through the miracle of papyrus:

1) Send the swag back with everything checked, along with a few extra handwritten needs: random stuff like "a new bicycle pump," "a Marilyn Manson CD" and "more letters like this." And ask them why they need the prayer kerchief back when all they had to do was keep it to begin with. And do all this without sending a donation. Hey, it's not like they asked for it! And like the Bible, this checklist should be taken literally, with no room for interpretation.

2) Make up and send back similar blessings of your own creation. Make up your own cult (selective Bible-passage quoting a plus!) and try to sell them on it. Send a tissue for good measure. Tell them it's an anointed cloth that, in mixed company, will magically result in a "God bless you" if used during a sneeze.

Do all of this and you will be a true child of the cloth! Amen.


Flamingo Jones said...

You are SO going to hell, Ian.

See you there.

M said...

I can't send my h-a-n-d-k-e-r-c-h-i-e-f back because I don't have a bible to shove it in before sending it back. Think On the Origin of Species will do?

Ian McGibboney said...

Manda, that's probably a bad idea, because as the letter says more than once: "God sees."

Anonymous said...

I recieved the same letter, and I agree with some of what you said, until you decided that it was ok to pass judgement on the girl who was healed. But I'm not quite as cynical as you. I guess you are entitled to your opinions and judgements.

Ian McGibboney said...

...And yet, "fellating God" didn't bother you at all.

Funny what offends some people.

Pastor said...

Ian, whether or not you "believe" in God is your choice. But I do hope that at some point in your life you decide to “trust” him. Don’t put your faith in anything or anyone before you try God. Have you tried God? If not, all you have to do is...
...confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans 10:9 (KJV)

Either now when you have the freedom to or later when you stand before God and are judged as is it said...
For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
Romans 14:11 (KJV)

The choice is yours!